T365 Recall: The most open Wimbledon tournament in history
World Cup fever is gripping the globe as it reaches the business end of the tournament.
One of the main themes of the 2018 edition in Russia has been the early departures of some of the top football playing nations.
Germany, Spain and Argentina all bowed out before the quarter-final stage, while four times champions Italy never even set foot in Russia.
But if you thought this kind of tournament, where anything can and seemingly does happen, was exclusive to football you would be sorely mistaken.
We see your Russia World Cup 2018 and raise you the Wimbledon 1973 men’s singles event.
Yes, this version of the only grass-court Grand Slam saw a whopping 81 professionals boycott the event in protest at the suspension of Yugoslavian number one Niki Pilic.
With 13 of the original 16 seeded players gone, it left the field wide open for any player to reach the final. Sound familiar, England fans?
And so it came to pass, as the weirdest Wimbledon tournament in history was won by Czechoslovakian Jan Kodes in his one and only appearance in the final at SW19.
For his vanquished opponent – Soviet Alex Metreveli – it would be his only ever Grand Slam final.
It may seem like 1973 was the worst Wimbledon ever with the lack of star players, the reigning champion Stan Smith not defending his crown, Ken Rosewall, John Newcombe and Arthur Ashe absent, and the field perforated by lucky losers.
But perhaps we shouldn’t focus too much on these factors.
In the long-term, this tournament has become one of the most important in tennis history.
The boycott was organised by the recently-formed Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), and the show of solidarity transferred power away from the national federations that once controlled players’ schedule.
Not to mention two of the standout young performers would use Wimbledon 1973 as a launching pad to bigger and better things.
Jimmy Connors reached the quarter-final, his joint-best result at a Slam at that point, before being knocked out by Metreveli.
And a teenage Bjorn Borg made it to the same stage in his first SW19 appearance, and we all know what he went on to do on those grass courts.
Andy Murray on tennis’ vaccination dilemma ahead of Australian Open: ‘I hope more players get it done’
“If the local government puts that in place then, yeah, I would support that.”
Aggressive tactics pay off for Victoria Azarenka as she wins ‘high-quality match’ against Jessica Pegula
It’s Victoria Azarenka vs Jelena Ostapenko in the semi-finals.
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev is beaten as Cameron Norrie closes in on remarkable stat
US Open champion Daniil Medvedev crashed out of the BNP Paribas Open.
Rafael Nadal fans getting very excited as images emerge of his return to action
Nadal has taken his first tentative steps back onto the tennis court as he looks to get in shape ahead of the 2022 season
WATCH: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Fabio Fognini in heated exchange as accusations fly
Stefanos Tsitsipas was pushed all the way by Italy’s Fabio Fognini but held on for a 2-6 6-3 6-4 win.
Andy Murray on the challenges of playing with a mental hip as he makes Davis Cup decision
Murray has opened up on the challenges of trying to compete at the top of the game with a mental hip.
Former British No.1 says Andy Murray is on track despite defeat against Alexander Zverev
Andy Murray was left to lament missed chances, as he went down to a 6-4, 7-6 defeat against Alexander Zverev
Agonising defeat for Leylah Fernandez as she crashes out at Indian Wells
Fernandez’s hopes of banishing her US Open final defeat with a win at Indian Wells ended.
Emma Raducanu set to play a key role in deciding how cash will be spent to help women’s tennis
Raducanu is set to be handed a chance to have direct input into how money from Amazon Prime Video is used.
Preview: Conditions could help Andy Murray upset Alexander Zverev at Indian Wells
Andy Murray attempts to continue his fine…